Citation: Trace Elements. "Low-Dose for Depression and Anxiety: An Experience with Lithium Orotate (exp110323)". Erowid.org. Jun 4, 2019. erowid.org/exp/110323
||10 - 15 mg
||Pharms - Lithium
Low-Dose Lithium for Depression and Anxiety
I have experienced recurring depressive episodes and anxiety of increasing severity, particularly social anxiety, since roughly age 13. Recently they appeared to have been worsening. I was in bed for several days at a time, increasingly obsessed with suicidal thoughts, purchased supplies for an attempt with a high-lethality method months ago and was frequently thinking of using it, and was making no progress on work and drifting further away from friends. I was often unable to even respond to messages and had become fixated on the idea that others must be judging me negatively, with intense stress whenever I approached communicating with most people. In the past I have been fired from jobs, lost friends, and been dumped from romantic relationships due to behaviors stemming from anxiety and difficulty in forming or maintaining work relationships and career development goals, which have in turn contributed to further increasing depressive intensity over time. I did not see a future anymore.
I have tried many different antidepressant and anxiolytic medications and dietary supplements, from a variety of different classes, alone or in combinations, to attempt to combat these problems. So I suppose I was 'treatment-resistant'. Made sure to get proper dietary vitamin and mineral supplements. Occasional bouts of heavy drinking that never seemed to resolve anything but the most immediate short-term anxiety. Exercised every day I could muster the energy. Got enough sunlight and vitamin D. Talked to anyone I knew who didn't make me feel too anxious as often as I could, even if that wasn't very many people. Tried cognitive-behavioral therapy, specialized programs for social anxiety, etc. Tried ketamine and nitrous oxide. Experimented with various other recreational drugs, trying to either self-medicate or attain some sort of realization that could be applied in the future in seeing past my problems, but they produced temporary relief at best, undesirable experiences or intense unpleasant side effects at worst, and were legally and medically risky and unsustainable. Nothing seemed to stick.
Feeling particularly desperate, I went further down the list of common treatments for anxiety and periodic depression, decided I was willing to take a risk on potential kidney or endocrine damage decades later if it meant a chance at staying alive until then, and rush-ordered some lithium salts from online vendors. Lithium orotate in particular seemed the most suitable from background research. I had planned to begin at a low dose and escalate toward something approaching typical medical doses for bipolar disorder until I either found something that worked or couldn't tolerate the side effects anymore.
To my immense surprise, even a 5mg-equivalent dose produced a noticeable antidepressant effect, but with none of the drowsiness, numbness, flatness, mental fog, sensory anomalies, or other side effects I had come to expect from antidepressants. Perhaps I have some dietary deficiency, and although lithium is sometimes considered an essential trace element, even the best multivitamins do not contain it. After adjusting upward slightly, I feel completely unable to feel depressed anymore. I no longer feel intensely seized by anxiety whenever I need to communicate with someone. I no longer have trouble getting out of bed or feel lethargic constantly or want to die on an ongoing basis. I feel more mature and less a slave to the fluctuations of my mood. Although I do not feel capable of feeling intense euphoria anymore either, that was so rare already that it seems like a minor price to pay. As little as 10-15mg per day of elemental lithium in this form has been enough and this has remained stable over time. The effect is evident immediately upon absorption, within a few minutes sublingually (tastes like chalky mineral water) or 10-20 minutes if swallowed. No apparent tolerance or dependence to date. Very cheap. No meaningful side effects, apart from a dry mouth for a while afterward if taken sublingually.
I have been able to cut back significantly on other supplements and medications as a result. I am now in the process of attempting to rebuild my life.
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